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The current problem is around one man. He must be jailed as sentenced.
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Saturday , May 15 , 2010
An American View On The Red-Shirts Protest May 2010
Posted by www.antithaksin.com , Reader : 830 , 01:49:26  
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A message from an American expat who worked and stayed in Thailand

An excerpt from a recent post I made on The Daily Beast: I'm an American and live and work in Bangkok for an international company. I have lived here for 6 years and have been in and out of Thailand since the early 90s.

The international press has not understood the situation here nor reported on it with any kind of real comprehension. The real situation is that the Red Shirts are a very small group of uneducated bumpkins with an obsequious desire to return the ousted PM Thaksin to power. Thaksin's money is paying each of them 2000 THB (60USD) a day to keep the protests up. What's so ridiculous is that most Thais are against this because bringing Thaksinocracy back is to bring back gross corruption to the politics here.

thaksin

red

Thaksin was a self-serving megalomanic who bought his two previous elections and later stole an billions of THB from Thailand and the Thai people before being ousted. The Red Shirts scream for democracy - but they don't even know what it means. It's absurd and everyone here knows it.

red

police

The real problem now is that the police are 90% in support of Thaksin and the Reds, so they won't do anything to curb the protests and violence. The military, which is very powerful here, are on the fence because they are about 50/50 behind the Reds and the Kingdom. There has been sporadic violence but the biggest problem we face is the damage to commerce. With the two largest and most popular commercial areas being closed due to protests for 3 weeks now, retail business, hospitality and the tourism industries are losing about 1.5 billion THB per day. The Reds are doing nothing but hurting the Thai economy, the Thai people and themselves.

red

Current PM Abhisit is an intelligent, respected Oxford scholar trying to find a solution through the proper channels of negotiation while trying to uphold the law.

A bit more:
One part of the whole Red Shirt's argument is that the Red's are screaming for democracy - true democracy - and yet I doubt they even know the meaning of true democracy. I've heard rumors lately that they would actually like to see an end to the Monarchy here.

A true democracy does not require the ousting of its monarchy. England is a perfect example of a parlimentary democracy with a monarchy and it works just fine. If the Red's are against the venerable HM Bumiphol and would like the monarchy to go away, I would issue them fair warning. This would be a difficult battle for them that they could never win.

HM The King has never been a threat to democracy here and has never ruled Thailand or made any demands on the Thai people. His presence is reveared and appreciated by all. He has never told the Thai people to do anything - only asked graciously. He has done nothing his entire life except love his country and try to improve the well-being of all. HM Bumiphol is more like a father who holds the Thai citizens in his arms with true love and caring. HM The King wants nothing in Thailand but peace and serenity for all.

if this is their ultimate intention, the Red Shirt's can only fail at the notion of removing such a great, gentle, intelligent and kind man from the throne. I encourage all the Thai people to stand up against the Red's in every way by showing your support online, in rallies and with your words. Take the lesson from your King - Be true and honest, fair and good. Support our highly capable and intelligent PM, Khun Abhisit, protect your King and Queen and do not let these Red buffalo destroy the land, the name or the prosperity of this great and enduring country.


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comment 10
Obeyno1kinobe date : 15/05/2010 time : 14.42
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/obeyno1

I agree with some of what you say in your blog, but you tend to be a bit black and white. It doesn't have to be self serving power interests and protestors for pay or pure advocates of democracy. Its all going on together, thats why its so complex. But humans try and make it black and white like your unitary approach. Its a bit absolutist too. How do you know everyone revers the king of thailand.

Personally, I'm a republican, but the Thais and English can keep their monarchy if they want too. It's their business. They exist for historical reasons, and were an effective form of government that has evolved from absolute power to constitutional monarchies we see today. But frankly we don't need them any more. And there is something antidemocratic about people being born into a position of political power, even if it is largely symbolic. Why shouldn't we all get to vote on who is the head of state.

I don't like Thaksin. But in a democracy, the government should be elected by the people. Yes, I know there is vote buying, and the patronage system is alive and well, but even if there wasn't someone would choosen but the poor majority, and it wouldn't be the current PM. And off course there should be checks and balances, and constrainst on the government so they can't just line there pockets and help their buddies, but nothing.

My first response is to have an election, let the people choose their leaders. But Thailand seems to be winner takes all, and no one seems to accept others having a turn at leading, and missing out on the spoils.

The politicians we have are a reflection of society, and Thailand has it's share of bribery and corruption, and a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The people are divided, and politics seems to be winner takes all.

On the bright side, it's taken centuries for democracy to evolve in the more stable countries. Thailand has come a long way since absolute monarchy in the 1930's. Viva la Republic.
comment 9
Ian date : 15/05/2010 time : 11.28
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/anterian36

Alien, Erik, you are both saying the obvious, as you have done before and as I and many others have said. The red cause is just, but their methods of seeking change are not.
People like expresso have benefited in Thailand from the old Puyai system, they fear the emancipation of the poor, they fear the effects of better education. This is why they attack so frantically those who support change and an improvement in the environment of the poor.
comment 8
massein date : 15/05/2010 time : 07.04
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/masseinnd Eri

C1 , C2 You both have pretty well cover the problem, and Eric really spelled it out with
what Reds desire.
Access to social mobility, accessibility to decent education,and having a say in running the country. Reality is that these rights exist on paper only. But this demonstration is not the way forward.
comment 7
Alien date : 15/05/2010 time : 05.18
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/alien

Erik, well we finally agree on something! I support the cause of the red shirts, just not their leaders. Maybe it has to do with me not liking any government officials or people in similar positions, but I don't think so in this case. I have read and heard enough about these leaders that I actually think it may be scary if they get into power. I think they may be of the "authoritarian" school of government.

What I consider the major contributing factor, in Thailand and the U. S., is the dearth of education opportunities for the red shirts' kids and for blacks in the U. S. In the U. S., the Democrats are so tightly tied in with the teachers unions that these unions basically dictate what is going to be done in education. Washington, D. C. had a "pilot" program where black families were given vouchers and could send their kids to private schools. I'm not sure if you are aware of the school situation in D. C., but it is one of the the most (if not the most) expensive system on spending per student, but the results are abysmal. There were actually inner-city kids going to the same private school that Obama put his kids into. Obama discontinued this program because of pressure from the teachers' union. I think this is one of THE most important programs (school vouchers) that we could utilize here. Just as red shirts' children are basically disadvantaged due to all of the roadblocks put in place by Thai society, inner-city blacks are sentenced to inferior schools, which will keep them as members of the U. S. "underclass" or inmates in our prisons. The liberals say, "let's just give the schools more money"! We have been doing this since the 1960's and it hasn't worked yet. U. S. teachers are doing great, making more money on average per hour than engineers, accountants and yes, even the average lawyer. The school administrators are doing well, having multiplied their numbers exponentially in the last 40 or 50 years. The kids are doing worse. We spend more money per student than any other country in the world and are experiencing declining results. As the national head of the largest teachers union said, "I represent teachers...kids and their parents don't vote (for union president)".

So while we may be at different ends of the political spectrum, I'm pretty sure we share the same ideals. I don't consider you a communist and it is my hope that you realize I'm not a Nazi or a fascist. I abhor those forms of government and truthfully, don't really see much difference in them. To me, all three are examples of what happens when government gets too big. My favorite saying on government was Thomas Jefferson's "Those are governed best who are governed least."
comment 6
expresso date : 15/05/2010 time : 04.32
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/expresso

Orangutan, Ian is the chief instigator and you are a foot soldier who doesn't even know how to wipe your ass by yourself without sorting to others.
comment 5
expresso date : 15/05/2010 time : 04.30
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/expresso

I post comments because I can't stand hypocrites and the self-professed intellectuals posting half-truths, lies, and ignorant comments borne out from their magnanimous souls with no practicality.
Why are you so dumb to understand that? I said that many times.
comment 4
ErikOrange date : 15/05/2010 time : 04.23
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/ErikofOrange

Sexpresso you’re commonly known as a despicable pervert thug, why on earth do you still post comments?
comment 3
expresso date : 15/05/2010 time : 03.57
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/expresso

"yet they have done some major tactical mistakes."

Orangutan, open your eyes. It's not major tactical mistakes. It's not what they have been striving for! You have been conned like the others who like to exhibit their magnanimous souls!
comment 2
ErikOrange date : 15/05/2010 time : 03.41
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/ErikofOrange

That comment I basically agreed on Alien, we judge this situation from different angles but we seem to agree on what are the basics of what could possibly bring out a poor old farmer on to the streets.

I know you think I am just the ordinary European leftist, which I am not. I am a stern believer in both monarchy, capitalism and democracy. But none of that is possible without certain basic rights secured; such as access to social mobility, accessibility to decent education and a saying in how to run your country. All of this is sadly in dire lack in Thailand and I believe this is what most of the Red shirts are seeking, yet they have done some major tactical mistakes.
comment 1
Alien date : 15/05/2010 time : 02.54
http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/alien

My view, (which is from another American who has spent much time in Thailand) is that the Red Shirts have some legitimate grievances that need to be addressed. I know that they are calling for "democracy", and I agree that due to their life-experiences most of them really don't know what it means, but I think they really want a more equitable society. I think they want fair pay for their labor, they want opportunities to be fairly available to them and their children. These things have been denied to them. They live a hard life and they just want the game to be fair. There is nothing wrong with them wanting these things, everyone deserves a fair shot if they want to improve their lot in life. I support them on this. I think that their grievances have ben highjacked by others who are using them to get what they want - power and money. I'm sure that for the most part, the rank and file reds love their King just like all other Thai citizens do. They love Thailand just like all other Thais do. They're just sick of being screwed over in their lives, by the government, the person who buys their rice, the person who heads their village, etc. They deserve to be treated fairly and the government should be taking steps to see that this is done.
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